Special USB-C cable to use Power Delivery with iPad Pro?

Karren1987

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Original poster
Nov 18, 2018
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I want to buy a longer non Apple charging cable for fast charging the new iPad Pro with the 30W Apple power adapter which I got with my MacBook. Are all USB-C to USB-C cables supporting the ‘Power Delivery’ standard? So people just have to pay attention to whether the device and the USB-C power adapter support ‘Power Delivery’?
 
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akash.nu

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May 26, 2016
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Look on amazon for Anker cables. They’re generally well made and meet the power delivery requirements.
 

TrueBlou

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Not really, as with everything USB-C it’s not clear cut, there’s two main differences. For instance, Passive Type-C cables support up to 3A by default at any USB-PD voltage range (standard voltages are 5V, 12V and 20V). So passive cables can carry up to 15W at 5V, 36W at 12V or 60W at 20V. These will be the most common cables you find.


For the cable to support greater than 3A (or up to the full 5A limit of the PD spec) the Type-C cable must be an Electronically Marked Cable Assembly (EMCA) and support SOP' packets.


So if you’re wanting a cable which supports the full PD Spec, you’ll be looking for one which says something along the lines of: Charging Protocol: USB PD 2.0 (5A 20V 100W Max) in its specifications.


Although to be honest, once you’re beyond about 29W it’s a case of diminishing returns compared to the price of a charger (particularly if it’s an Apple charger.) I use an 87W Apple charger because I had one spare, if I didn’t, I wouldn’t shell out for one just to use on the iPad.
 
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Karren1987

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Original poster
Nov 18, 2018
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Thank you for answering! So, because the 30W Power Adapter specification says 15V and 2A. I would be fine with every 3A USB-C to USB-C cable? It will take full Power Delivery advantage of the Apple 30W adapter? Confusing!
 
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TrueBlou

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Yeah, you only really need to worry about the full spec cables if you’re going to be using something like the 87W adapter with a MacBook Pro.

Just buy a good quality cable and you’re solid. Personally, I like Anker cables. Great quality and reasonable prices. But it’s entirely up to you.

Just remember the old saying, if it looks too good to be true, it probably is :p
 
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Zune55

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May 2, 2015
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Not really, as with everything USB-C it’s not clear cut, there’s two main differences. For instance, Passive Type-C cables support up to 3A by default at any USB-PD voltage range (standard voltages are 5V, 12V and 20V). So passive cables can carry up to 15W at 5V, 36W at 12V or 60W at 20V. These will be the most common cables you find.


For the cable to support greater than 3A (or up to the full 5A limit of the PD spec) the Type-C cable must be an Electronically Marked Cable Assembly (EMCA) and support SOP' packets.


So if you’re wanting a cable which supports the full PD Spec, you’ll be looking for one which says something along the lines of: Charging Protocol: USB PD 2.0 (5A 20V 100W Max) in its specifications.


Although to be honest, once you’re beyond about 29W it’s a case of diminishing returns compared to the price of a charger (particularly if it’s an Apple charger.) I use an 87W Apple charger because I had one spare, if I didn’t, I wouldn’t shell out for one just to use on the iPad.
What are the specs of apple’s usbc charging cable? Are these 3A or 5A? Can they provide PD support if charging iPad with 30w, 61w or 87w apple wall charger?
 

TrueBlou

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What are the specs of apple’s usbc charging cable? Are these 3A or 5A? Can they provide PD support if charging iPad with 30w, 61w or 87w apple wall charger?
Honestly, I don’t recall having seen them announce this.
However, their 2m USB-C charge cable, for iPad Pro and MacBook Pro, is listed as being compatible with the 87W charger. I’d be surprised if the 1m one in the iPad Box is any different.

When I get the chance I’ll throw together my testing kit and see what power it’s drawing. Unless someone else happens to know offhand.
 
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TrueBlou

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So, there are also USB-C cables limited to 5V and 3A. That does not seem to be enough with my 30W power adapter!?

Like this one (power output up to 5V, 3 Amp)?: https://www.amazon.com/AmazonBasics-USB-Type-C-2-0-Cable/dp/B01GGKZ2SC/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1542551371&sr=8-4&keywords=usb+c+usb+c+cable+amazonbasics
It shouldn't be. Limited to 3A, yes certainly. But they shouldn't be limiting it to 5V, that's not an option in the specifications as far as I remember.

Regardless I'd give the Amazon one a body swerve and go for this instead.
 
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PBG4 Dude

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Just an FYI, Apple’s 2m USB-C power cable only supports USB2 speed data transmission. I guess it is difficult to have a 2m cable that fully supports both USB-PD and USB-C data speeds.